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Need New Teeth? Advice From A Dental Implant Surgeon, Part 1
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Due to a great number and variety of reasons, your teeth can deteriorate with age and eventually fall out or require extraction by your dentist. But, tooth loss isn’t age discriminant… accidental trauma; gum disease and tooth decay can claim the life of one or more of your pearly whites at any age. What New Jersey residents in need of new teeth want to know is what their various options are, how they work, what they cost and what the professionals recommend. In the quest for greater knowledge on something that either has or potentially will happen to all of us, we asked an experienced dental implants surgeon in Rutherford for advice.
This is what he had to say…
What, in your opinion, is the best technology for replacing missing teeth?
“Undoubtedly, dental implants. In most cases, dental implants provide a highly successful and far more sophisticated solution to missing teeth than the other popular teeth replacement options. Even for patients who have lost all of their natural teeth,” says the surgeon.
What are the main approaches taken to replacing missing teeth? In other words, if I didn’t choose dental implants, what other options would I have?
“If you had lost one or two teeth, a dentist might recommend a tooth-supported bridge. If you had lost a substantial number of teeth, you could have a partial denture fitted, which hooks on to your remaining natural teeth to help prevent it from falling out. Or, if you had lost several teeth and the rest were in terrible condition – what we call a failing or terminal dentition – you could have full removable dentures fitted.”
Okay, let’s start with the tooth-supported bridge. How does that work and why might you recommend a dental implant instead?
“Good question! Let’s say the patient has lost one tooth. A conventional dental bridge looks like a series of three tooth crowns that have been glued together. In other words, just the visible parts of the teeth and not the roots. This device is fabricated from ceramics and other composite materials to closely mimic the color, optical properties and strength of natural teeth. The two outer crowns are placed over the two neighboring teeth, while the middle crown fits neatly into the gap left by the missing tooth,” explains the dental implant surgeon in Rutherford.
“What dentists don’t tend to like about tooth-supported bridges is that they sometimes require healthy neighboring teeth to be ground away some, or ”prepared”, or in order to make room and provide support for the replacement tooth. So, in addition to the one tooth you’ve already lost, you are essentially now involving (and relying upon) two more, and in the long run these conventional bridges tend to result in the loss of these teeth. Fracturing and decay are not uncommon in the two supporting natural teeth. This is why most dentists would prefer to recommend dental implants for patients who need new teeth.”
My mother had a conventional bridge and I always remember her complaining about how uncomfortable it was. Is this normal?
“Well, different patients experience different things. Not everyone is the same. Some will have absolutely no trouble with their bridges, while others experience a degree of discomfort. Tooth-supported bridges can feel unnatural and they can lead to further complications as I explained before. Dental implants, on the other hand, don’t require the support of the neighboring teeth at all because they function very similarly to the roots of natural teeth. Because of this, the crowns and bridges they support tend to feel natural and comfortable. Again, why we recommend them.”
Stay Tuned for Part 2
Stay tuned for the second installment of this four-part article series for more advice from our resident dental implants surgeon in Rutherford!
About the Author:
Gina Butler is a science writer who regularly works with well-known oral surgeons in New Jersey. In this article she shares her views and dentists’ advices regarding getting New Teeth.
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